US home entertainment spending has grown 3 per cent so far in 2017, reaching nearly $4.5 billion (€3.79bn) for the quarter and more than $9 billion in the first half, with consumers continuing to spend more on digital transactions to enjoy movies through electronic purchases and video on demand, according to home entertainment trade association the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG). Blu-ray Disc sales also enjoyed an increase in sales.
DEG notes that consumers continue to transition to digital entertainment, with spending on all digital formats up 13 per cent in the second quarter and 15 per cent for the first half of 2017, a healthy growth pace that has been sustained since 2014.
Subscription streaming is a big part of this, with SVoD maintaining a growth rate of 20 per cent to 25 per cent over the same period, but consumers’ use of digital represents more than a desire for less expensive TV programming. They continue to collect movies and TV through electronic sell-through, which in the first half was up 8 per cent overall and a more than 21 per cent in theatrical films, a bellwether for any new format. Meanwhile, VoD overall did drop a bit in the quarter, but Internet VoD bucked the trend and continued to show strong results, growing 14 per cent in the first six months of the year.
There continues to be a counter balance to this digital growth – physical sales were down 10 per cent in the first half of the year. But even there were encouraging signs: second quarter physical sales fell less than six per cent, driven by Blu-ray Disc sales, which saw a jump of two per cent over the same period a year earlier. And 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs continue their rapid growth from a small base, against a backdrop of growth in 4K Ultra HD TV adoption and Ultra HD Blu-ray playback device sales. The Walt Disney Studios has announced its first titles on 4K Ultra HD and content is expanding rapidly, with 166 titles in the market and consumers buying approximately 4 million units valued at approximately $107 million in consumer spend.